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Impact and Engagement


Research in the School of Arts and Humanities has significant engagement with society and culture at local, national and international levels.

Academics within the school have acted as consultants on high-profile and landmark BBC television and radio programmes. These include Secrets of the Museum, Age of the Image, A History of Music and Technology, The Music of Time, Civilisations, Blitz: The Bombs that Changed Britain, Dangerous Borders: A Journey across India and Pakistan and To Walk Invisible.

Through our research, we collaborate with diverse external partners. We work with museums and libraries spread across the four nations of the UK, and globally, including The British Library, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Ashmolean Museum, National Justice Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Frankfurter Goethemuseum; we also work with museums close to the OU campus in Milton Keynes, including The Cowper & Newton Museum.

Our researchers collaborate with diverse cultural organisations, including The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Scottish Book Trust, as well as theatre companies, such as Potential Difference and By Jove. We influence policy makers, such as through our collaboration with History & Policy. We have utilised our research in work with health and wellbeing practitioners, through projects such as Tinnitus, Auditory Knowledge and the Arts and Researching the uses of Creative Writing during Covid with frontline NHS Health Care Workers.

Our research has informed the development of open-access resources for teachers and learners, including the multi-media resources for those learning Classical Studies and Music. The Open Arts Archive offers free films and teaching materials that support the teaching of Art History in schools, particularly at A-level. By publishing our Arts and Humanities research on the OU’s free-learning platform, OpenLearn, we reach global audiences, who can access our articles, videos, short courses, posters and other free educational content.

We also communicate our research through humanities festivals such as the UK’s national Being Human festival, Glasgow’s Aye Write Festival and Imagine!, Belfast’s Festival of Politics and Ideas.

The School has a blog series, Arts & Humanities in the time of COVID-19, where academics in the School of Arts & Humanities bring their research to bear on the Coronavirus pandemic, in a series of posts which are thought-provoking, uplifting and entertaining.

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